Lunchlady vs McCain, Round Three, Frozen Pizza

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Lunchlady vs McCain, Round Three, Frozen Pizza
4 April 2014

I was driving home from school the other day, singing along to some song loudly and out of tune, with the girls, thinking about pizza. Nothing really concrete, just how I really like it. And salami. Pizza and salami could seriously be my last supper, in fact I had a conversation with myself in the shower not long ago, about what food would I choose if I could only eat one thing for the rest of my life, and that is what won. Hands down. I think only about the big topics.

Anyway!

While I was thinking about how awesome pizza was, I was thinking how I should make up some pizza dough to put in the freezer for those days when everything is a chore. THEN, I thought, HOW ABOUT I MAKE FROZEN PIZZAS LIKE THE ONES IN THE SUPERMARKET! Surely it could be done, I mean, it is done. The mighty McCain have shelf loads of the suckers, and then there are those gourmet looking versions in the fridge section with just the pizza sauce on them. They were more the variety I was hoping to achieve.

So, I googled, and low and behold, you CAN do it! The fact it has taken me 37 years to work this out is a huge disappointment to me. Let’s all learn how now, and compare the homemade variety, to the McCain version.

Margarita Pizza

What You Need

Homemade (will make approx 15 mini pizzas or 7 – 8 big ones)

Pizza Base

  • 1 kg plain flour or farina ’00’ flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons of dried yeast sachets
  • 1 tablespoon of caster sugar<
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 650 ml lukewarm water

Pizza Topping

  • 700ml passata
  • 500gm mozzarella cheese
  • a giant handful of basil

McCain

Pizza Base

  • Wheat flour
  • Water
  • Vegetable oils (canola, PALM, coconut)
  • Emulsifiers (435, 471)
  • Flavour
  • Yeast
  • Salt<
  • Soy Flour

Pizza Topping

  • Mozzarella and cheddar cheese (37%)
  • Sugar
  • Thickener (415)
  • Herbs
  • Spices

Made in a facility that also processes products (those words just freak me out when talking about making our food, how unfood like does it sound) with crustacea, egg, fish, tree nuts, sesame, peanuts and sulphites.

Hehe, look how cute Maya is being angry.

Time To Make These Suckers

Now I know this is going to be the stumbling block for the good ol’ homemade variety, time. BUT! If you spent an hour and a half one afternoon making these suckers, they will be just as convenient as the shop bought variety. And your trusty homemade variety won’t have any nasties, for you or the planet, i.e. PALM OIL!

I won’t even bother to put the time comparison here, we all know. You get the shop bought one, open it,  throw away all the packaging and chuck it in the oven. Easy. But I promise you the extra time it takes to make these odd shaped babies (well mine are) is worth every minute. And it is super fun for the kids to help out! The great thing about having these homemade, ready for topping pizza bases are, you can chuck whatever leftovers you have from the night or lunch before on top! My ones at the bottom of this post have our roast dinner as topping. It is a great way to use those annoying tiny bits of leftovers.

There was one thing I had a problem with freezing the pizzas this way, is that you have to wrap them in cling film and aluminium foil. I am not a huge fan of using heaps of this stuff, it can’t be good for the planet, but I have since taken some out of the freezer and have been reusing them and that has eased my conscience slightly, but I am still on the hunt for a better way (can anyone help me?).

What You Need to Do

  1. Put your flour and salt in a big mixing bowl and sift (whisk) them together.
  2. Make a little well in the middle.
  3. Mix the yeast, sugar, olive oil and water together in a jug and let sit until it gets all bubbly.
  4. Once the yeast and water have become quite bubbly, say 5 minutes, pour it in the the well of your flour.
  5. Grab a spatula and bring the ingredients together.
  6. Put the spatula down and get your hands dirty!
  7. Bring the dough together in the bowl with your hands, until mixed well enough to be able to pick it up.
  8. Please the ball of dough on a lightly floured bench and knead for approx 10 minutes.
  9. Here is a video on how to knead if you have no idea. Excuse the slow mo and music.
  10. Place your beautifully kneaded dough, how good does it feel, in to your cleaned and oiled mixing bowl.>
  11. Cover for about 20 minutes, it should double in size. (you might have to leave it somewhere warm, if you live somewhere freezing cold).
  12. Turn your oven on to 220˚C. And place a baking try with baking paper in there to heat up.
  13. Grab your passata and a pinch of salt and pop it in a heavy saucepan on a low to medium heat. You want this to reduce until it is thick enough to spread easily over your pizza base. Sometimes the shop bought ones are quite thick so you may not have to do this step at all. Woohoo, easy as.
  14. Once the pizza dough has risen, lightly flour your benchtop again and cut little plum sized balls of dough (trying SO hard to think of something the size I cut mine in to!). Whatever size you cut will be fine, the world wont end, you’ll just have a different size pizza.
  15. Roll your dough out in to little pizzas, I did two at a time.
  16. Peel you pizza off the bench and place them on the baking tray in the oven.
  17. Leave them to par cook for 4 minutes.
  18. Once the oven beeps, pop them on a wire rack to cool.
  19. Repeat this with the rest of your dough.
  20. Once you’ve completed all that and the bases are cooling, get out of your cling film and aluminium foil.
  21. Grab your nice and thick passata and spread on to a pizza base.
  22. Wrap pizza base in cling film and then foil.
  23. Pop in the freezer.
  24. Repeat.
  25. You now have a fridge full of pizza ready for THOSE moments.

How to Top Your Pizza

  1. Preheat your oven to 220˚C
  2. Get your homemade frozen pizza base out of the freezer.
  3. Place your desired (that word sounds funny) toppings on your pizza.
  4. I like salami, as you may have heard, and mushroom. Oh man, I am salivating!!!!
  5. Pop your pizza on a baking tray with baking paper, or a pizza stone.
  6. Bake for approx 10 minutes. Keep an eye on it, as we all know my oven is a crap indicator for cooking times.

Now THAT is the bit that takes no time, and THAT is the bit that you can do when you’re feeling crap or just plain can’t be stuffed. It is also something the kids can do (not the oven bit).

I also just want to let you know I couldn’t actually bring myself to buy the pizza for this challenge. I stood at the freezer section for AGES deliberating whether or not I should, but at the end of the day, the point is to share how AWESOME my light bulb was, and to share how easy it is to make your very own frozen pizza section!

I know this recipe looks like it has lots of steps, and I know there will be some people scared of any recipe with over 10. But it really is super easy, it just takes a lot of words to tell you.

The weather is getting a little cooler, and this would be an awesome way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Have an amazing weekend everyone. xx